D&D 5E D&D Beyond Self-Censorship: Pride Month Digital Dice Blocked In Some Countries

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
@Ondath

You have nothing but my sincere hope that this gets resolved. And, of course, that things continue to improve on the ground.

Given you are there, I believe you are correct. I do think that there has been accounts of restrictions regarding this type of thing, which I remembered hearing about so I googled-


It indicates that there was a move to make rainbow-themed products (such as the dice) restricted to 18+. That might be the type of thing that influenced the decision-making process at Hasbro.
 

I was able to open the claiming page with a VPN, but logging in to my account through the VPN felt too much of a hassle so I didn't try claiming them that way. Either way, I'm more concerned about the principle of the thing rather than some virtual dice.
Totally legit. However, a real victory is better than a moral victory. Better to use a VPN to access what one is entitled to AND to pressure Hasbro to have some of the conviction that they are cosplaying as.
 

Ondath

Adventurer
@Ondath

You have nothing but my sincere hope that this gets resolved. And, of course, that things continue to improve on the ground.

Given you are there, I believe you are correct. I do think that there has been accounts of restrictions regarding this type of thing, which I remembered hearing about so I googled-


It indicates that there was a move to make rainbow-themed products (such as the dice) restricted to 18+. That might be the type of thing that influenced the decision-making process at Hasbro.
True, this was a new change that got introduced. But given that these dice are given away for free, and that other game companies like Riot don't need to put a +18 warning on their pride colour festival themed add-ons, I'm sure a workaround would be possible. Also, I hardly doubt WotC would be in the government's sights, as they're not really known beyond the small TTRPG scene. But factors like these probably shaped their decisions, in that you're right.
 

Yora

Legend
Doesn't surprise me. Pride month is a marketing scheme.
If you care about something enough to promote it, you care about it all the time. Not just during marketing events.

And yeah, WotC doing nothing but virtue signaling really is exactly what everyone who has been following their company culture history to any degree has to be expecting of them.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
True, this was a new change that got introduced. But given that these dice are given away for free, and that other game companies like Riot don't need to put a +18 warning on their pride colour festival themed add-ons, I'm sure a workaround would be possible. Also, I hardly doubt WotC would be in the government's sights, as they're not really known beyond the small TTRPG scene. But factors like these probably shaped their decisions, in that you're right.
Free plus the 18+ requirement may be the reason. They might be worried that free Pride dice, available to everyone, might trigger the regulators to mandate an adult age warning for the whole site. And they probably think, with good reason, that’s worse than not allowing the free Pride dice.
 

Doesn't surprise me. Pride month is a marketing scheme.
If you care about something enough to promote it, you care about it all the time. Not just during marketing events.

And yeah, WotC doing nothing but virtue signaling really is exactly what everyone who has been following their company culture history to any degree has to be expecting of them.
Wizards promotes LGBTQ+ issues year round, to include Crawford going to conventions that address oppressed sexualities, selling shirts, donations, etc
 





Crawford has appeared on non gaming channels to talk about his sexuality and acceptance.

Minimizing the lived reality of Wizards employees is bizarre
But was Crawford the one who designed the promotion, or was it a Hasbro committee of bureaucrats? I'm not trivializing anything about Crawford (except his crappy rulings), but pointing out that most of the time, the company in question doesn't really care about whatever cause they promote. Even if Crawford was the one who pushed for it (good for him if he did), it's possible that it could have been nixed if it wasn't felt to be considered worthwhile from an economic standpoint. Individuals care about ideals; companies generally don't.
 

Yora

Legend
Maybe someone had an idea who thought it would be good, and someone else in the company made the decision to minimize the economic damage.
That frees the person who had a good idea from any guilt, but the company still looks as awful.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Once again all these corporate pride geastures prove hollow, fake geastures. Its all PR. Same with every other movement they pretend to care about.
I hope that made them a lot of money.
Maybe someone had an idea who thought it would be good, and someone else in the company made the decision to minimize the economic damage.
That frees the person who had a good idea from any guilt, but the company still looks as awful.
Let's be clear here, Wizards of the Coast/D&D Beyond are not making any money off of these digital Pride dice. They're completely free, even though they may be unavailable in some countries. You don't need to enter your credit card information, you don't need to pay a dime, and you don't need to have a subscription. You just need a D&D Beyond account (which is extremely easy and free to make) and you can claim them.

Most other companies would charge money for this kind of thing. Most other companies (cough, Disney, cough) would put out a tweet and/or some merchandise covered in a rainbow and then continue to edit their movies and TV shows to edit out any LGBTQ+ content for countries that are less progressive than the USA. WotC doesn't edit out a book's LGBTQ+ characters for other countries, isn't charging anyone a dime to get these dice, and promotes LGBTQ+ Pride year-round. Probably because many people in the company are LGBTQ+, including Jeremy Crawford and lots of the people that work/moderate for D&D Beyond.

D&D Beyond/WotC spent money on making these dice and are giving them away for free. This isn't your average capitalistic greed from a corporation wanting to make money off of something in the mainstream.

I won't defend the fact that these dice aren't available in countries that don't have laws prohibiting this sort of content. WotC/D&D Beyond should have done a bit more research and made these dice available to every country where this sort of thing is legal. But this also clearly isn't just a scheme to make a bit more money.
 

Waller

Hero
Most other companies (cough, Disney, cough) would put out a tweet and/or some merchandise covered in a rainbow and then continue to edit their movies and TV shows to edit out any LGBTQ+ content for countries that are less progressive than the USA. WotC doesn't edit out a book's LGBTQ+ characters for other countries,

But that's exactly what they're doing. As you say:

...these dice aren't available in countries that don't have laws prohibiting this sort of content.

I'm not sure I see the difference between removing movie scenes to meet a country's laws and removing digital dice. They're both the same act.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Let's be clear here, Wizards of the Coast/D&D Beyond are not making any money off of these digital Pride dice. They're completely free, even though they may be unavailable in some countries. You don't need to enter your credit card information, you don't need to pay a dime, and you don't need to have a subscription. You just need a D&D Beyond account (which is extremely easy and free to make) and you can claim them.

Most other companies would charge money for this kind of thing. Most other companies (cough, Disney, cough) would put out a tweet and/or some merchandise covered in a rainbow and then continue to edit their movies and TV shows to edit out any LGBTQ+ content for countries that are less progressive than the USA. WotC doesn't edit out a book's LGBTQ+ characters for other countries, isn't charging anyone a dime to get these dice, and promotes LGBTQ+ Pride year-round. Probably because many people in the company are LGBTQ+, including Jeremy Crawford and lots of the people that work/moderate for D&D Beyond.

D&D Beyond/WotC spent money on making these dice and are giving them away for free. This isn't your average capitalistic greed from a corporation wanting to make money off of something in the mainstream.

I won't defend the fact that these dice aren't available in countries that don't have laws prohibiting this sort of content. WotC/D&D Beyond should have done a bit more research and made these dice available to every country where this sort of thing is legal. But this also clearly isn't just a scheme to make a bit more money.
Not selling something doesn't mean it won't make them money.

Good PR, especially with a group that is a growing part of the fanbase, could potentially make more sales.

Which is why this kind of thing is a double-edge sword. For one, it is a proof of progress considering being even this level of supportive to the LGBTQ community even in the 90's would simply Not Happen. But on the other, being reduced to a bag of money you can cheatcode your way into is dehumanizing, especially when it's done in a way that is of minimal risk while the people you're trying to get money out of is still at great personal risk.
 

Hasbro’s lawyers are at fault here, not employees like Crawford. Though, I would have to think Crawford would be in a position to argue with the lawyers if he was aware of the issue.

In terms of social justice issues, corporations will generally support them if they increase brand visibility and don’t cost anything. As soon as it affects the bottom line, they are suddenly not so socially conscious anymore.
 


MGibster

Legend
It would be enlightening to see WotC's list of where the promo has and has not been limited. Knowing of Turkey's checkered history with internet censorship, I suspect that lawyers and execs at Hasbro weighed the risk of pushing the promo there versus having the entire D&D Beyond website blocked in that country.
When in Rome, do as the Romans.

It's entirely possible WoTC blocked this, not out of legal concern, but out of fear up upsetting the sensibilities of the Turkish people and therefore upsetting their customers. I largely see most corporation's adoption of Gay Pride to be little more than a marketing ploy on their part. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad because when it started happening it was a clear sign that gay rights were becoming mainstream. But WotC doesn't have the same incentive in Turkey that they might in Canada or Germany to support Pride month.
 

South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
People intent on ideological purity don't often run businesses, and there are good reasons for that. For all those same reasons, it often happens that smaller groups of people working inside some company will find they cannot realistically do better than try to move the company's needle just a little farther toward their own best understanding of moral decency (and consensus on such understandings is no easy thing, either).

I am not willing to judge the conduct of WotC or the people inside it on this matter when by my own confession I have little notion of what pressures they (and their company) face on a daily basis.

I do think it sucks that Ondath cannot get a set of those digital dice and I do hope (and rather imagine) there ought to be some way of making it possible, but from behind this thick epistemic veil of mine, that's as far as I'm willing to speak.
 

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